UPDATE: A water order has been extended for Machesney Park homeowners.
The North Park Public Water District is now asking customers south of Illinois Route 173 to run their faucets 24-7, otherwise, their pipes may freeze.
The Department says in some cases, it's taking days to provide temporary water service.
For the complete release, please see the attached document.
STATELINE (WIFR) – The cold conditions continue to take a toll on our spirits and our homes. Hundred s of our neighbors in the Stateline are without water because of frozen pipes.
This is the second call of the day where Krystal and Josh have had to use a giant blow torch to heat up frozen pipes in Machsesney Park. The pair are technicians for the North Park Water District.
They, along with three other teams have been putting in long hours trying to unfreeze outdoor water lines across the district.
“We have had in the neighborhood of 75 customers with frozen services so far in the last 10 or 11 days.”
Initially, crews were digging up pipes to thaw them out. . They did that on 22 homes before too many lines froze at once, forcing a new solution.
“We are hooking up hoses to neighbors’ houses and then hooking them up to the customer that’s frozen and back feeding their house from their neighbor’s house.”
That’s what’s going to happen at Sharon Barrone’s house. Crews tried for an hour to thaw the pipes leading to her home. She’s been without water since Sunday.
“Thank goodness our neighbor has water so he let us fill up a bunch of buckets so we could flush the toilet and then I went and bought drinking water.”
Barrone lives in the section of Machesney Park, north of Windsor Road and West of Rte. 251. That is a greater risk for frozen pipes because lines aren’t buried as deeply as in newer spots in town. Folks there should be running a trickle of water from faucets at all times to prevent their pipes from freezing.
“It’s important that they let it run and it should be enough to keep the hose thawed.”
Neighbors who provide water to those with frozen pipes will get four months of water service for free.
The reason this has been such a problem this winter is because the frost line, where the ground freezes, is usually 4 feet down. It’s been so cold this winter, crews are seeing the ground freezing at 5 feet or even 7 feet deep down. If you have pipes coming into your basement at 5 feet, it’s a good idea to keep that trick of water going so you don’t end up with frozen pipes. Keep cabinets open so warm air circulate around pipes.
Another winter problem, water main breaks have also increased in several cities this season. Rockford has been averaging about 2 per day. Beloit and Belvidere have seen more than usual. Freeport crews say they’ve had a typical amount of breaks, but have had four within the last 24 hours.